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Tipperary Fobbed Off While TDs Fobbed In

Tipperary travelling a slippery road.

Some TDs, claiming to represent the people of Tipperary and who signed in at Leinster House for expenses worth up to €38,000 a year, failed to take part in a significant number of Dail votes. Fine Gael’s Tom Hayes is one of quite a number of elected Tipperary public representatives identified by the Independant today, of claiming expenses by fobbing in, but yet not turning up for Dail votes.

Tom has been absent for ten votes, but is still behind the main offenders, namely TV celebrity Michael Healy Rae, and keen bog environmentalist Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, both of whom have the poorest voting records since elected.

According to the same newspaper Casino promoter, Mr Michael Lowry TD, only voted 3 times, out of a possible 24 and missed 7 of these votes while clocked in. He was just plain absent from Leinster House on the other voting days. Michael Lowry was also one of  the biggest recipients of the “Party Leaders’ allowances,” since its conception in 2005, with payments of almost €250,000  according to Departmental figures obtained under freedom of information legislation by the Irish Times, and which has cost Irish taxpayers, nationally, in total, more than €4.6 million. This allowance, paid on top of salary and other allowances and expenses, is understandably tax-free and recipients do not have to account for how the money is spent. Nationally twenty-six Oireachtas members are now entitled to this allowance, well up on the ten who were claiming it last year, due to the success of so many Party defecting Independents, in last February’s general election.

Now do you understand why Cabinet Ministers should be placed above ordinary citizens and as such, be allowed to leave Dublin’s traffic jams and use emergency bus lanes, they just cannot get to work.

In the light of this leadership shown by our politicians, it is not totally surprising then that John Hennessy, the Regional Director of operations in HSE West reveals this week that the Mid Western Hospital in Limerick, attempting to serve the population of North Tipperary, has a staff average absenteeism rate problem. Low staff morale is sited as probably a key factor, but certainly not pay and conditions. This absenteeism rate stands at 7.3% among the 703 nursing staff and 11.5% in the hospital’s 211 other care staff, hence the corridor trolley service currently on offer.

Meanwhile according to that English newspaper the Irish Daily Mail, (You surely remember the newspaper that campaigned for the reintroduction of the HPV Cervical Cancer vaccine in Ireland, while their London edition were printing stories attacking the same vaccine.) state that cash-strapped Montrose bosses in RTE are to fork out €10 million to implement 75 redundancies, while TV licence payers are invited to gain entertainment by watching washed-up celebrates clean horse manure from racing stables. I can’t wait to get home and switch on.

What all 3 papers failed to note, however, is the regular attendance nowadays by two TD’s at every possible public vote catching event. The recent invitation, to persons involved in promoting the Arts, by Minister Jimmy Deenihan, who was visiting Ballina/Killaloe, Co.Tipperary, last Thursday, saw Alan Kelly enter the Lakeside Hotel arm in arm with Jimmy. Despite RSVP to the Arts Office in North Tipperary County Council, Jimmy had no time to discuss the neglect of Thurles and surrounding towns and villages, so the Hidden Tipperary  Group were ‘fobbed off,’ onto his Press Officer, Therese O’Connor. Jimmy it turns out was in a hurry to join Transport, Tourism and Sport Minister Leo Varadkar to announce a €7 million investment for that little known tourist area in Ireland known to the few as Killarney, Co Kerry.

For those of you who think I am being a bit cynical check this out. Click Here and ask yourself the following questions:-
Where is the Thurles GAA museum?
Where is the Thurles Source Theatre?
Where is Thurles Famine Museum?
Since when did Tipperary Institute become a Museum or indeed an Art Gallery?
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While our local Politicians, Urban and County Councillors and other gold chain wearing Community Leaders continue to practise a policy of party politics and personal gain, before and above fiscal rectitude or fair play, County Tipperary continues to be lead along and down a very slippery road, with the worst yet to materialise.

As you can see from the image attached, here in Tipperary we are beginning to erect public warning signs.


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